Animadversion: Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol–Reviewed by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

This post is the unedited version of the review published in our column “Animadversion”, iMAGES on Sunday (Dawn Newspaper), on Sunday January 1st 2012. The link to paper-published edit is at the end of this post.

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Your Mission, For the Fourth-time…Should You Choose to Accept?

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Believe you me: the Burj Al-Khaleefa scene will knock your socks off! I am not exaggerating, I am telling.

It goes down like this: Ethan Hunt – Tom Cruise, believable, sincere and aptly wearing beaten down look – has to disable the security system at the Burj, and to do this he has to scale the world’s tallest building. From the outside. With a set of malfunctioning adhesive gloves. And so, the vertigo inducing high-concept sequence, perhaps the key element of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’s marketing campaign, becomes a dizzying pulse-throbbing adventure by itself.

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Animadversion: X-Men: First Class–Reviewed by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

This post is the unedited, lightly updated copy of X-Men: First Class’s film review published Sunday June 12, 2011 in our film review column Animadversion (iMAGES on Sunday, Dawn Newspaper). The link to the published version can be found at the end of the post.

X-Men First Class - Blog

I Can Read Minds and Bend Steel… So What?!

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Flashing back, briefly to a Nazi prison camp in 1944, a few years before pulp sci-fi labeled mutants as latex-skinned monsters or deformed aliens from B-movies, a young Erik Lehnsherr (Bill Milner) insentiently triggers his embryonic superhuman-genome and yanks open a barbed iron gate with his power of magnetism.

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Animadversion: Thor – Reviewed by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of Thor’s film review, published Sunday May 22, 2011 in our film review column Animadversion (iMAGES on Sunday, Dawn Newspaper). The link to the published version can be found at the end of the post.

* Correction appended on June 10th 2011. Previously published version cited Odin as “Old-Father”, and not “All-Father”.  Blame the mistake on a bad ear-day.

THOR

Shakespeare, Shakespeare Oh, Where Art Thou?

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Let’s talk about “Thor” from the villain’s angle: People always said that he has a predilection for mischief, but Loki (Tom Hiddleston, looking every bit like Iago from Shakespeare’s Othello) has conflict weighing on his immortal soul. To betray or not to betray, his expression asks in not as many words.

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Animadversion: Gulliver’s Travels – Reviewed by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

The review below is the unedited copy of the review published in our column Animadversion (Dawn Newspaper’s iMAGES on Sunday), Sunday 30 January 2011. The version published, is linked below.

Gullivers Travels - Blog

Pop-Culture Dweebiness in the Land of the Little People!

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

In one the more preposterous screen-updates based on Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”, we see a modern office mailroom guy – Jack Black aka Lamuel Gulliver – get demoted from a comfy long held position by the new, one-day old subordinate. But that’s not the preposterous part. The preposterous part – or parts – happen in Lilliput, the land of the little people he crashes into, to whom technology and time is suspended to the 1800’s. Despite that hindrance they have the brains to make Gulliver a brand-new home outfitted with everything from florescent light fixtures to coffee makers.

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Animadversion: The Chronicles of Naria – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Review by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

This post is the updated copy of the review published in iMAGES on Sunday, Sunday January 2nd 2011 in our film review column Animadversion. A link to the published version can be found at the end of this post.

Dawn Treader - At the End of the Narnian World - Blog

Is that a Ship I See in the Painting?

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Lions, dragons, a big nasty water-snake and minor doses of self-doubts – "The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" buoys-up the tradition of British children saving an uncharted parallel fantasy-verse, whose lopsided continuity would give nightmares to any Timekeeper.

As far as I understood, decades of Narnia time=minutes of present, vice-versa. So, when in "Dawn Treader", the younger set of the Pevensie sibs – Lucy and Edmund (Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes) – return to Narnia to thwart unnecessary evil years later from our world (it is still the Second World War here, by the way) it would be decades, if not eons, of Narnian time. Instead its just years later in Narnia. The chic looking Ben Barnes – now King Caspian – barely has a grown-mans beard and an English accent (he talked in a tad Spanish tone before).

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Animadversion: Unstoppable – Review by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in iMAGES on Sunday, Sunday 12th December 2010 in our film review column Animadversion. A link to the published version can be found at the end of this post.

Unstoppable

“This Train Is a MISSILE!!”

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

“Unstoppable” is all about tension and resolution. It is superfast without being tiring. It is loud, but in a good way (hats off to the foley artist – the guy who records everyday sounds, like the chugs of a train engine, for a movie); and it isn’t stupid (well not entirely).

“Unstoppable” is also about the sensibilities of a sugar-high kid (at 66 years) driving a movie of a train pumping coal (or to be politically correct, diesel/electricity) at 70 km/per hour, unmanned and dangerous, filled with a cargo of chemicals that would go BOOM when mixed hard on the ground (ala derailment). But we get to that in a minute. Let’s talk about the tension and resolution first.

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Animadversion: MegaMind – Reviewed by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

Below is the unedited copy of the review published in iMAGES on Sunday, Sunday November 28, 2010 in our film review column Animadversion. For the published version, check out the links at the end of the post.

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Big Blue Brain, Smart Alec Mouth and His Darn Luck

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

I would have stuck to “The Magnificent OoberMind”. An off-kilter title for a 3D-CGI film sells better than “MegaMind” (or just Oobermind or *shudder* Master Mind, thank god). “MegaMind” sounds (exactly) like a memory enhancing tablet I saw on a home shopping television show years ago. Just thinking aloud FYI.

Anyways, “MegaMind” is the sparkling sleek and deferentially mature third outing from DreamWorks Animation – the other two being “Shrek Forever After” and the about-to-be-Oscar-Nominated “How to Train Your Dragon”. On the meter it is flanked by originality, cliché and the customary cramming of compulsively referential material. In MegaMind’s case, the reference itself is the seed that becomes the baby.

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Animadversion: Shutter Island – Review by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

correction appended, re-edited version of the review printed in iMAGES, Saturday, 27 Feb, 2010

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Stranded in an Island of Mind Games and Ghost Women

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Shutter Island is the new gothic-drama-thriller from director Martin Scorsese, and from its first scene (where a dejected ferry cuts through a dense ocean-fog), clamps firmly into a sense of dreaded clam and doesn’t let go until the closing credits.

Juggling a complex, and at times over-amplified, fusion of filmmaking variants, Shutter Island is about a missing woman from a fortified sanitarium for the criminally insane. The sanitarium, guarded by steep cliffs and crushed greenery is located in a quarantined island, which also strands two federal Marshals. One Marshal, played by Leonardo DiCaprio – returning to his Bostonian accent from The Departed, his earlier collaboration with Scorsese – is reliably traumatized by the ghost of his dead wife; the other one, played by Mark Ruffallo, we barely have time think about. But that is because Martin Scorsese doesn’t want us to, yet.

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Animadversion: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

This is unedited version of the review printed in iMAGES on Sunday 21st February 2010

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To Hell and Back Again: Boy-God on an Olympian Mission

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

On face value alone Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief works-in two core aspects of Greek mythology in one package: daddy issues and heroic expeditions.

The movie is based on the bestselling book by Rick Riordan, and its plot brands Percy Jackson, our title-referenced hero (a static and about likeable Logan Lerman), as the Lightning Thief who’s stolen Zeus’s (Sean Bean) fabled lightning bolt. If the bolt isn’t returned to Olympus, a celestial hovering edifice above Empire State Building, the gods go to war within themselves – without logic (rumor has it that they’re always looking for ways to engage in catastrophic, elemental, wars).

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Animadversion: Edge of Darkness by Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

correction appended, re-edited, full version of the review printed in iMAGES, Dawn, 14th February 2010 in MKJ and Farheen Jawaid’s exclusive review column “Animadversion"

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Vengeance from the Edge: A Roughed Out Father on Rampage

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

In the retribution-inflicted psyched-out cop drama-thriller “Edge of Darkness”, Mel Gibson returns to the pilot seat of a genre his resume knows best: a wronged man on the edge.

Mr. Gibson’s last leading screen role was in the M.Night Shyamalan science-fiction drama “Signs”. It had him pitching water (and a club-wielding Joaquin Phoenix) at evil invading aliens, who exhibited excellent handicraft-skill at making crop circles. In “Edge of Darkness”, the evil has shifted to corporate America and covert government deals.

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